Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center in Austin
(Copyright Reuters 2016)
NEW YORK – Planned Parenthood is reporting a spike in donations and the offer of long-acting contraceptives since Donald Trump’s election as president of the united states, while abortion foes hope to gain momentum in their quest to cut public funding of the women’s health organization.
Officials with planned parenthood said its customers are worried about the impact of a Trump presidency on access to abortions and birth control in the United States.
Planned Parenthood, which draws the ire of many Republicans, because it causes an abortion, is bracing for one of the toughest battles in its 100-year history. It has about 650 health centers nationwide, and is dependent on public funding for about half of its revenue, much of it from the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.
With Trump winning Tuesday’s election and the Republicans retain their control of Congress, it would be easier for legislators to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and dismantle the basis of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, that mandates insurance coverage for contraceptives.
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“There have been attempts in the last two years, defund them, and we will do everything we can to defund them,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, which opposes abortion. “I am very optimistic.”
Since the election, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said that it has received almost 80,000 new donations nationwide, although it did not disclose the money amount.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois said the online appointments for long acting contraceptives like Iuds, or intrauterine devices, increased by almost 50 percent in the past two days compared to the same period last week. He said that the plan to increase the number of available appointments to meet demand.
“We are overwhelmed by members of the community to make donations and contact us to offer to volunteer and offer support,” said Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, where the successive Republican governors have cut funding to the organization.
Online donations to the Texas affiliate has tripled on Wednesday compared with the previous week, while 125 people have contacted the group to volunteer to help, Wheat said.
Long a target of the protest, and sometimes violence by groups that oppose abortion on religious grounds, Planned Parenthood has in recent years worked to a widening of health care for women and men.
Trump has sent mixed signals on abortion, said in March that the women who end pregnancies should face punishment. He Later backtracked on his comments.
On Wednesday, his team said that the new Trump administration would “protect innocent human life from conception to natural death,” without specifying.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s vice-presidential running mate and the head of his transition team, is a staunch opponent of abortion. Pence has pushed Congress to defund Planned Parenthood and signed a state law required that a fetus be buried or cremated after an abortion.
Trump has also vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, though he was quoted by the Wall Street Journal on Friday as saying that he would consider the saving of a number of provisions.
The law requires for the first time that insurers cover the costs of the many forms of birth control for women.
While it is not yet clear how the Trumpet will continue with his pledge, some patients want that they have a contraceptive plan in place, Planned Parenthood officials said.
“They really do have a number of concerns about the threats to the Affordable Care Act and the coverage for these services,” said Katie Thiede, the vice-president of development for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
The affiliate said that the demand for permanent sterilization climbed 57 percent over the past week.
If Obamacare would be repealed, an estimated 55 million women could lose access to no-copay preventive services, including birth control, screenings for sexually transmitted infections, Pap tests and cancer screenings, according to government figures.
Other problems might be come by the court of agreements, or by changes in the financing rules for Medicaid.
In the longer term, abortion rights advocates have expressed concern that Trump was able to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme court of the V. S. that could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion across the country.